November 27, 2008

Ask Jamie: Will losses hurt LSU recruiting?

Jamie Newberg is a football recruiting analyst for He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags:
Nov 20: NU's RB search goes south
Nov 13: Making the Rivals100 cut
Nov 6: Will Vols salvage top 10 class?

What will happen with Florida's recruiting down the stretch?

Will on-field losses hurt LSU's recruiting?

And what kind of impact will Will Muschamp have on Texas' recruiting?

We examine those issues in this week's recruiting mailbag.

Jamie's Mailbag
Closing strong?

I know that this recruiting year for Florida is about quality and not quantity. How do you think Florida will close the recruiting season?

-- Brent in Kiln, Miss.
The Gators have 13 commitments and are at No. 18 in the team recruiting rankings. Come National Signing Day, I would expect Florida to sign 22 players, give or take one or two depending on attrition.

Right now, the Gators are looking good for offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, linebackers Jon Bostic and Jarvis Jones, athlete Marsalis Teague and defensive tackle Latu Heimuli. In fact, they are the likely team to beat for that quintet.

Florida also is in the hunt for athlete Denard Robinson, wide receivers Andre DeBose and Marlon Brown, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and defensive back Joshua Evans. Committed prospects such as running backs Trent Richardson, Jaamal Berry and Montrell Conner and wide receivers Rantavious Wooten and Randall Carroll also are showing interest in Florida.

So, what will happen? Florida has two big games ahead, with archrival Florida State on Saturday in Tallahassee, then the SEC Championship Game with No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta. Two victories and a shot at another national championship could go a long way toward helping Urban Meyer and his staff win some recruiting battles.

Regardless of what transpires on the field, Florida should close strong. A top-five class or so is a strong possibility in Gainesville once again.

Overcoming losses

Do you think LSU's season will hurt its recruiting class?

-- Edward in Lafayette, La.
As things stand, LSU finds itself trailing only Ohio State and USC in the team recruiting rankings despite being 7-4 on the field.

Will their record hurt their recruiting efforts? Losing never helps, and I would suspect this could hurt with a player or two. Still, this is LSU we are talking about, and what happens over the course of a few weeks shouldn't ruin what the staff had been working so hard toward over the past several months on the recruiting trail.

Recruiting is a marathon and not a sprint, and the Tigers have aligned themselves with some big-time prospects such as wide receivers Rueben Randle, Marlon Brown and Andre DeBose, running back Trent Richardson, linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Frankie Telfort, safety Craig Loston, defensive end Ed Stinson and many others.

There's also last season's national title to think about. You usually see the benefits of a national championship on recruiting in the following year or two, which means this class and possibly next year's.

Will they land all of these guys? No way. But LSU will land its share, and I have thought since the summer that LSU could make a run at No. 1 in the team rankings.

Best QB?

How is Matt Barkley the No. 1 recruit when Garrett Gilbert's stats and video looks so much better? And how do you think Will Muschamp staying at Texas will change Texas recruiting?

-- Pete from Jarrell, Texas
I am certain there are many quarterback prospects out there with better stats than Barkley. But stats alone don't make a football prospect; it's more about upside and potential.

There's no denying that Austin (Texas) Lake Travis quarterback Garrett Gilbert is having a brilliant senior season, and that he's one of the top prospects in the land. He also has far better numbers than Barkley.

Going into the season, Barkley was the overwhelming choice as both the No. 1 quarterback prospect and the top overall prospect in the country. I still believe that, but there's no question he has struggled at times this season. He has been forcing throws, trying to make things happen and pressing when things were not there. But if you are going to knock Barkley on his numbers, or lack thereof, you also have to realize Gilbert doesn't play the same type of competition, week in and week out, that Barkley plays. And Barkley has better mechanics and upside.

As for part two of your question, I don't see Texas changing anything in regard to recruiting after naming Muschamp as its coach-in-waiting. I still see Texas dominating the state.

What makes the Longhorns unique is when they offer prospects and how quickly the class fills up. Since Mack Brown took over, Texas has offered juniors the day after National Signing Day. Usually, the class is close to being filled by the end of the May evaluation period. This allows Texas to jump ahead to the next class.

The bottom line is Texas' existing staff has found a recruiting formula that works well. Why would Muschamp want to change things up?

Jamie Newberg is a recruiting analyst for Click here to send him a question or comment for his Mailbag. is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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